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Written Works

Below you'll find a few pieces I have written over the years. A couple are from The Creightonian, the student-run newspaper at my undergraduate university. Others are from my job with Disney Signature Experiences.

Dellinger shows promise after a successful first season

Sam Dellinger has been a Creighton girl since she started softball. She began attending the Creighton Softball camps when she was seven or eight.

Dellinger’s hard work shows through her career statistics. She has a .303 batting average and a .857 fielding average for the season.

Dellinger’s drive to do well inspires her teammates to do the same, even when they are exhausted.

“She pushes her teammates. She’s always working hard and wanting the best for herself and that pushes her teammates to do their best as well,” Senior Allie Reinhart said.

Dellinger has been playing softball since she was 7-years-old. She tried other sports, but she was always most drawn to softball.

“She plays with a lot of heart,” Senior Jen Daro said.

She is humble and prefers to not talk about awards that she has been given, but one of her favorite memories was getting the call in high school that she was the Gatorade State Softball Player of the Year in the state of Nebraska. 

“It was nice to see that the hard work that I put in, my parents and my teammates put in, worked out,” said Dellinger.

Dellinger is interested in studying medicine and felt comfortable at Creighton, which is why she chose to come here during her sophomore year of high school.

Dellinger likes a challenge and enjoys seeing her team come back and earn a win.

At the start of the season the Bluejays were down 6-0 to Weber State in the bottom of the seventh inning. The team pulled out all the stops and managed to make a nine run comeback to win the game.

“No one wanted to be the last out. It’s cool to be a part of that, not giving up and seeing what you’re capable of when it comes down to it,” said Dellinger.

Dellinger’s teammates describe her as a hard worker who has grown in many ways throughout the season. They highlight her mental toughness that Dellinger developed through learning that failure is part of the sport.

“She had a lot of success in high school and when she wasn’t having that success in the beginning of the year it took a lot of mental toughness to get herself going, get herself through it,” said Reinhart.

As a utility player, Dellinger plays a variety of positions depending on where the team needs her. 

Off the field, Dellinger’s teammates describe her as a person who is easy to get along with and easy to talk to.

“She’s very understanding. She’ll always listen. She’s always willing to help you,” said Reinhart.

Daro, who has known her since Dellinger was seven or eight, says that her favorite memory with Dellinger has been watching her grow as an athlete throughout the years.

“Seeing her grow so much as a player from when she came in this fall to where she’s at now; to see the success that she’s had up until this point, and I know that this is not all she’s going to achieve, she’s going to achieve so much more,” said Daro.

This is just the beginning for Dellinger who is a freshman this year.

After adjusting to life and CU, Hanson ready for what comes next

At 6-foot-9, Zach Hanson towers over most students on Creighton’s campus. But his Creighton teammates say that behind his intimidating stature, Hanson is a laid-back guy with a great sense of humor.

“He may be intimidating because he’s big and has a big beard and stuff, but he’s probably the friendliest person I’ve met at this school,” said fellow senior Cole Huff.

Coach Greg McDermott also commented on Hanson’s fun-loving personality that not many people know about.

“He’s got a really sarcastic sense of humor,” McDermott said. “He’s a funny guy and you wouldn’t ever know it by the way he acts day to day.”

Hanson grew up in Pierre, South Dakota, a city with only 13,000 people. As an only child, he grew up with a lot of close friends and formed a close relationship with his parents.

Hanson admits that growing up as an only child made his family closer than others.

As a student-athlete, Hanson has been busy the past four years and was seldom able to visit home. His tightknit family had to make adjustments.

His parents made it down for his games and made sure that they were able to spend a few hours together after games. Hanson also calls home every few days to talk with his parents.

The one family member that he misses dearly is his cat, Whiskers, or “Mr. Whiskers if you’re meeting him for the first time.” The 16-year-old fur ball is too old to be making any trips to Omaha, so Hanson spends time with him during the few moments he gets at home.

With his parents support, Hanson has grown into the player he is today. 

They have traveled with him to countless tournaments and games throughout his career.

Both of his parents were athletic and played sports, but his mom played college basketball. He always joked that he got his talent from her.

Living in South Dakota, there were few opportunities to play basketball in his hometown, so they traveled to a lot of his games. 

His family never flew anywhere for games. Instead, they would pack up the car and go on road trips, regardless of how close or far away they were.

Hanson lived in the city, but his family owned a farm a few miles away, where they raised cattle until he was 10-years-old.

Hanson’s mother was a registered nurse and moved around in different areas, including operating rooms and working at the VA. 

His dad is a bank manager who specializes in agricultural affairs.

After graduation, Hanson is moving in with some friends in Sioux Falls. He is exploring different job options that focus on the financial side of agribusiness.

Some people may think that moving from a city like Omaha back to South Dakota is a step backward, but he couldn’t think of a better place to live.

“To me that sounds pretty damn good,” Hanson said.

West of the Missouri River is the black hills, and east of it is rolling badlands and plains made by glaciers that moved through thousands of years ago. To some it seems like a boring place to be, but Hanson said he truly believes it is God’s country.

With almost zero light pollution, all of the stars are on display from the deck at his childhood home.

Moving home with his parents is not on his radar, but his memories of the farm and his dad’s career path have influenced his post-graduate plans.

He enjoys the relationships that are made working with people, which is something that he learned early on while playing basketball. Playing on a variety of teams helped Hanson learn to work well with others.

“Everyone is from different places, so you have to learn to work together,” said Hanson.

Hanson will graduate with a degree in finance and economics in May.

For his career, Hanson averaged 4.8 points per game and 2.3 rebounds per game. He played in 109 total games and played a total of 1191 minutes.

Coffiel tells of her passion for Creighton softball

TaShiana Coffiel fell in love with softball when she was 11 years old. 

She began softball when she was 10 years old when she noticed that her friends were not at the after-school program like they usually were. 

In high school, Coffiel played softball and basketball as well as tried tennis and ran track for a season. 

With the encouragement from her stepfather, Terrance Spencer, Coffiel stuck with softball and continued to improve into the player that she is today. 

Coffiel, an Omaha native, knew that she wanted to stay here for college. She had been attending Creighton softball camps for a couple of years prior to being recruited by them. 

“The day I got an offer from Creighton, I verbally committed,” said Coffiel. 

Her freshman season did not go as she had planned. Coffiel trained every day, but felt disappointed with her performance throughout the season. 

“There is mental toughness, which is something I lacked, and did not help me in the season I was having,” said Coffiel. 

With the help of her stepfather, Coffiel built up her mental toughness, which she said is essential for failure in sports. 

In the winter of 2016, Coffiel had to use that resilience in her personal life. Coffiel’s mother was hospitalized because of an infection in her heart. She managed to continue to make it class and practice while trying to be by her mother’s side every moment she had. 

Her mother was born with a hole in her heart, which was fixed when she was younger. Today, Coffiel’s mother is doing much better and is getting back to life as it was before she was in the hospital. 

Coffiel’s performance throughout this difficult time in her personal life did not suffer. 

“An outsider who would have come and watched us practice would have never known when they watched us practice how sick her mom was,” coach Brent Vigness said. 

Vigness also said that two of Coffiel’s greatest qualities are her commitment to bettering herself as an athlete and her commitment to excellence, which is evident through the first quality. 

Coffiel’s hard work throughout the preseason shows through her tremendous season so far. 

“She brings a competition to the team to try and work harder than she is and that's what I try and do. It's not easy,” teammate Mileah McKelvy said. 

One of Coffiel’s favorite memories of softball was when her high school softball team at Benson made it to the state tournament as a wild card. 

The team was full of players that were new to softball or new to competing on a fast pitch level. Up until that year, Benson had never made it to the state tournament in softball. 

“The best thing about this moment is that we also made history at the state tournament by beating the No. 1 seed, resulting in knocking them out of the tournament,” said Coffiel. 

McKelvy shares the same favorite moment as Coffiel. She was playing second and Coffiel was shortstop.

McKelvy was having an off game defensively and remembers Coffiel saving the day by catching a fly ball behind second base. 

“After the catch, we just jumped into each others arms because we just made history by beating the No. 1 team,” said McKelvy. 

Vigness and McKelvy said caring and driven describe Coffiel on the field and off. She leads by example with a quiet confidence, which is evident through her performance during practices and games.

Academic Success offers new opportunities for freshmen biology students

The EDGE’s Academic Success is offering new tutoring opportunities for freshmen biology students. There are attached biology tutors available for BIO 202 two nights a week. “With the attached tutoring, they’re [the tutors] going to the class so they’re following along with the content they’re currently learning,” said Academic Success coach, Sarah Shaner.

The sessions will be held on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6-9 pm. at the EDGE in Reinert Alumni Library. No appointments are needed to attend. The tutors will review material covered in their particular sections.

Academic Success helped more than 3,000 students last semester. The mission of Academic Success it to make sure that any student is successful at Creighton.

Itinerary Change for 6/5/23 Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (SE) Departure

Guests on the 6/5/23 departure of the Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (SE) Adventure are being notified of a change made to the internal flight that occurs on Day 8 of their trip.

Originally, Guests were scheduled to travel from Hanoi to Luang Prabang via a direct flight. Due to a change in the flight schedule, Guests will now fly from Hanoi to Vientiane, and take an EMU train from Vientiane to Luang Prabang.

During the brief layover in Vientiane, Guests will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

In order for the EMU train tickets to be purchased in advance, Guests are being advised that they must send a color copy or photo of their passport as soon as possible.

Sunset of Private Adventures

The decision has been made to sunset Adventures by Disney Private Adventures. Beginning tomorrow, 6/2/23, requests for new Private Adventures will no longer be accepted.

Any Private Adventure departures through March 2024 which were previously approved will not be impacted, and will operate as planned.

All in-process requests and requests for a new Private Adventure departure received before the close of business today, 6/1/23, will be worked as normal.

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service that allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. STEP shares important information about safety conditions in their destination and also supports them in the event of an emergency.

STEP enrollment is not required, but National Geographic Expeditions strongly recommends all Guests/Travelers register their international trip with the program on the website.

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